Tonight, at 7 PM ET on TNT the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star reserves will be announced.
And undoubtedly, a week after being snubbed for the West’s starting PG honors, Russell Westbrook will hear his name called as an All-Star reserve.
However, given Westbrook's historically underappreciated numbers -- averaging a triple-double through 47 games -- and animosity with All-Star laden Golden State, would it be in Russell's best interest to simply eschew the mid-year’s festivities altogether?
After all, Westbrook and former teammate Kevin Durant — 16-17 All-Star starter — have made no secrets regarding their ongoing animosity toward one another.
Durant and Westbrook finally talked in public. This is not a drill. pic.twitter.com/wcFBtnt7aj— Astroworld (@ViewsFromDurant) January 19, 2017
The two recently exchanged harsh words during Golden State’s Jan. 18, 121-100 blowout victory. Furthermore, in that heated contest, Westbrook was on the receiving end of a malicious Zaza Pachulia flagrant foul toward the first-half’s conclusion.
Zaza Pachulia fouls Russell Westbrook HARD and then stares down Westbrook as he lies on the court. It was a Flagrant 1 foul #GSWvsOKC pic.twitter.com/AiAS3bH6lt— Chat Sports (@ChatSports) January 19, 2017
Golden State issues aside, through the season’s opening stretch, Westbrook has logged an exhaustive load. The 6’3 guard would no doubt benefit from a week of rest pursuant to compiling an astronomical 42.1% usage rate, 23.7 FGA, and near 35 mpg nightly ledger.
Russell Westbrook has been a triple-double machine this year, but consider the context below on his last 7 games. pic.twitter.com/4M67rQ61Bc— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 26, 2017
Finally, and most importantly, a principled Westbrook All-Star boycott would shine an even greater light upon his vaunted 30.7 ppg, 10.7 reb, 10.4 apg stat-line. Without question, the gravity of Russell’s accomplishments this season are unparalleled in modern-day NBA history.
The ‘Westbrook triple-double watch’ has become the NBA’s prevalent story-line throughout another banner year for the league. Yet, as the association unveiled a new voting method to crown its brightest of stars, these highly-debatable names gained combined media, player, and fan recognition over the 6’3 guard.
Western Conference All-Star Starters
- Stephen Curry
- James Harden
- Kawhi Leonard
- Kevin Durant
- Anthony Davis
Eastern Conference All-Star Starters
- Kyrie Irving
- DeMar DeRozan
- Jimmy Butler
- LeBron James
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
While it can be argued for days that Westbrook is the most deserving choice to sit atop the NBA’s brightest of marquees, perhaps Russell’s loudest statement involves the least amount of action.
NBA fans, how do you feel concerning Russell Westbrook’s 2017 All-Star situation?